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The Country Radio Seminar 2024

The Country Radio Seminar kicks off on Wednesday, February 28. It is my Must Attend every year. I was wowed when I first attended the conference 30+ years ago. Never before had I been to a conference about only one format, where there is unity among radio stations and record labels to further a music genre.

The sharing of concepts, ideas, and successes & failures was surprising to me. The opportunity to walk among stars of the country music format, to meet the Program Directors and Air Talent that I’d only read about before, and to continue to learn how the media business is evolving was and is what makes CRS the most unique of all conferences. 

The Country Radio Seminar may include “Radio” in its’ title, but the evolution includes Streaming (DSPs), Podcasting, Digital, Social Media, and multiple businesses that are built on Music and Content Creation. Management of artists, Agents, Singers & Songwriters, Touring and Performing, Promotion & Marketing Specialists, Researchers, and lots of syndication, radio networks, and the ancillary businesses of broadcasting will be there. Consultants and Talent Coaches like me are there, too. 

RJ Curtis, serving as Country Radio Broadcasters Executive Director, said, “We believe CRS is an essential destination for career and business development no matter what your role in the music, radio, or content delivery sector is, and while we focus on the country genre, there’s valuable education for everyone in this business.”

“The agenda at CRS ’24 covers it all: AI, digital, podcasting, a custom research project, grass roots day-to-day programming insights for radio, and important mental health resources for our industry colleagues. CRS also has the most entertaining showcases, featuring our biggest stars who believe in the mission, and you will not find a stronger networking atmosphere anywhere than CRS week.”

In full disclosure, I am on the Board of Directors for the Country Radio Broadcasters, which is the entity that organizes CRS, and, as such, I’ve had an opportunity to “sneak peek” this year’s agenda. There are three sessions on Artificial Intelligence. I am moderating one: “The AI Interactive Town Hall: Reflecting on a Year of Growth and Learning and Looking Forward to What’s Ahead.” I will be joined by Zena Burns of Moxie Coalition, Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media, and Buzz Knight of Buzz Knight Media. We’re going to take the discussion into the audience and engage those in attendance.

There are more than 30 educational and informational sessions across CRS’ three days. There is always great takeaway value from the Research Session. This year the massive national study focuses on personalities, titled “Talent and Their Role on All Platforms.” We on the Research Committee are well aware that some broadcasters lack the ability to invest in much needed research. This is why every year’s presentation is designed to address questions that provide purposeful answers to improve content for creators. 

Keynote sessions this year include a most important one on Mental Health. Something that touches the lives of many. Its title is “Your Brain is a Liar: Recognizing and Understanding the Impact of Your Mental Health” featuring Jason Prinzo. The CMA is presenting “Leadership, Strategy, and Optimizing Country’s Surge in 2024” as another keynote session. The level of education made available during CRS is always exceptional. 

There are two Cycle of a Song sessions. The first examines Bailey Zimmerman’s “Fall in Love” and the other follows Jelly Roll’s “Son of a Sinner.” The Superstar Artist interview has Lainey Wilson interviewing Trisha Yearwood. 

There will be artist performances galore as has become the norm for CRS. The Warner luncheon, UMG at the Ryman, The BMLG Luncheon, Amazon Country Heat, and BMG/BBR is bringing back the “Decades Party” where country stars perform songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Acoustic Alley, started years ago by longtime CT40 Host Bob Kingsley and now hosted by Fitz, will once again begin with the announcement of the Radio Ink “Best PDs of Country.” The music performances for CRS always wraps up on Friday night with the New Faces showcase. George Birge, Dillon Carmichael, Corey Kent, Megan Moroney and Conner Smith will all take the stage to perform during this year’s showcase on Friday, March 1. 

Hoping to see you in Nashville at CRS February 28-March 1.

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